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Prednisone Side Effects

Prednisone is a prescription steroid drug. It comes as an immediate-release tablet, delayed-release tablet, and liquid solution. You exclusively take these forms by mouth. The delayed-release tablet is available as the brand-name drug Rayos. The solution is available as a generic drug and as the brand-name drug Prednisone Intensol. The immediate-release tablet is only available as a generic drug. Generic drugs usually cost less. In some cases, they may not be available in every form as the brand-name versions.

Important information

  • Prednisone treats many different conditions such as allergic disorders, skin conditions, ulcerative colitis, arthritis, lupus, psoriasis, or breathing disorders.
  • You should not take prednisone if you have a fungal infection anywhere in your body.
  • Steroid medication can weaken your immune system, making it easier for you to get an infection. Avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Do not receive a "live" vaccine while using prednisone.
  • You should not stop using prednisone suddenly. Follow your doctor's instructions about tapering your dose.

Side Effects

Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, heartburn, trouble sleeping, increased sweating, or acne may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly. Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he/she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects. Tell your doctor right away if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: muscle pain/cramps, irregular heartbeat, weakness, swelling hands/ankles/feet, unusual weight gain, signs of infection, vision problems, vomit that looks like coffee grounds, black/bloody stools, severe stomach/abdominal pain, mental/mood changes, slow wound healing, thinning skin, bone pain, menstrual period changes, puffy face, seizures, easy bruising/bleeding.

This medication may rarely make your blood sugar rise, which can cause or worsen diabetes. Tell your doctor right away if you have symptoms of high blood sugar such as increased thirst/urination. If you already have diabetes, check your blood sugar regularly as directed and share the results with your doctor.

A very serious allergic reaction to this product is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling, severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

How it works

Prednisone works by weakening your immune system. This action interferes with chemicals that normally cause inflammation, and can help decrease inflammation in many parts of your body.

What to do if you miss a dose

If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it’s close to the next dose, skip the dose and take it at your next regularly scheduled time. Don’t take extra doses to make up for the missed dose.

Prednisone effectively controls inflammation and an overactive immune system but may not be suitable for everybody. Long-term use is limited by potentially severe side effects such as adrenal suppression and an increased risk of infection. Prednisone should always be used at the lowest effective dose for the shortest possible time.